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Chapter 140: Decadent

 Chapter 140 - Decadent

Ten thousand great mountains, Subdue Devil Ancient Cave.

The Subdue Devil Ancient Cave where the Evil Beast was revived, looked greatly different from the previous scene where black clouds loomed overhead and cold wind screamed, although the sky was still dim but that mass of black air gathering at the cave entrance had dispersed, the Yin wind which was perpetually blowing out from the ancient cave had also vanished without a trace.

Other than the overgrown mountain which remained unchanged, only that lady statue which stood outside the cave entrance, rain or shine. And just in front of it, wearing that brightly coloured silk clothings, was an especially dashing, with a hint of seductive look, young man.

Fairer than normal girls, slender brows red eyes, thin lips and sharp jaws, looking carefully, this face indistinctly had some similarities with that lady statue.

Just that, their demeanours, were greatly different!

This young man, was the Evil Beast revived from the Subdue Devil Ancient Cave, nobody could have expected that, the ferocious beast which was feared by countless of southern border people, was this pretty and charming young man.

From the first day he was revived, for some reason, he did not do anything, there was no widespread massacre, no shouts or whoops of joy, but only like that, quietly standing before LingLong shaman lady stone statue, gazing in silence.

A black figure flashed past, the evil shaman soundlessly drifted over, stood behind the young man.

"Your Excellency Beast Deity."

The young man without moving, without turning his head too, said, "What is it?"

The evil shaman stared at his back, said, "Thirteen evil kings have already subdued the remnant barbarians in the ten thousand great mountains, waiting for Your Excellency Beast Deity."

The young man then moved, turned around unhurriedly, indifferently said, "How many tribes are left in total?"

The evil shaman said, "Now there are only thirty-seven tribes. In this century, the groups in ten thousand great mountains without a leader, many of the tribes fought and killed among themselves and many are wiped out."

The youth sneered, he did not look disappointed, instead there was an indistinct haughty feeling emanating deep from him, his eyes piercing, scanned the evil shaman's face covered with black veil.

The evil shaman suddenly felt his face was as if being burned over with fire.

"Actually, it should be thirty-eight tribes," that young man leisurely said, "There is still you isn't it, the last member of the Black Shaman tribe!"

The evil shaman lowered his head, did not speak.

The young man turned his head slowly, his eyes again on LingLong shaman lady's face, after gazing for a long time, he suddenly called out, "Black Wood."

The evil shaman's body shook, this name to him, was like a wound deep inside his heart, each call, would cut him once.

The young man staring at the statue, his voice suddenly turned heavy, said, "So many years, before LingLong, have you ever regretted in your heart?"

The evil shaman was silent, after some time, he quietly said, "Yes."

The young man did not turn, a pair of eyes gleaming with strange glint, flowing ceaselessly, faintly said, "This world other than your big brother which has turned into a fierce spirit, only you know the relationship between me and LingLong. At that time, the eight of you, pursued me through mountains and rivers, to think of it now, it seems like yesterday."

The evil shaman's body below the veil, suddenly seemed to tremble, as if the past scenes were before his eyes.

Only that young man, did not seem to notice the evil shaman's reaction, his words, rather than to the evil shaman, was more directed to the statue, mumbling, in his eyes, there seemed to be only that LingLong shaman lady's statue.

"You, " his voice, slowly revealing sadness, sorrow and indignation, "what exactly did you do it for?"

The statue was silent, stood unmoving.

"In your heart, what common people of the world, what destiny creation, were they all that important?" the young man's voice, suddenly agitated, slowly becoming louder.

"If you view all these to be more important than me and so therefore wanted to get rid of me, is it like that?" The young man's face, a hint of bewitching sneer strangely surfaced, "But did you know, I don't care at all!"

"What nonsense Heaven's will, what common people under the sky, what does it matter?" His expression became more and more mournful, the strange thing was, even though his eyes and expression were scary, his face became more seductive and beautiful, abnormal from ordinary humans.

"You want me dead, just need to say the word, do you know? Do you know?" He sternly shouted, to that statue, then, slowly, his voice quietened down.

"But, actually viewed these things, to be more important than yourself, than your own life..."

Slowly, he stretched his hand out, gently caressed that face, roughened through countless of wind and rain, it brushed past the deep memories, that once warm face!

Icy cold feeling, without a trace of warmth, travelled up from his hand.

Opening his arms, gently embracing, hugging the statue in his embrace, the young man's face gradually turned strangely gentle. The evil shaman stood behind, quietly watched that unusual scene.

"I know, it is the common people of the world that caused harm to you." That young man closed his eyes, like talking in his sleep he softly said, "Don't worry, I will let all of it to be buried together with you, then, I will come to find you..."

"Wait for me..."

The quiet voice, softly diminished and eventually disappeared. The seductive young man hugging the cold statue, the black-attired shaman stood unmoving, a shock of lightning in the dark clouds, rain drizzled down from the sky.

Heavy rain drifted down in the wind, shrouded the world in darkness, indistinctly, the evil shaman gazed over blankly, the rain fell onto the statue's face, soundlessly dripping-

Like tears!

X x x

Three thousand miles east of Qing Yun, beside the ancient path stretching southeast from KongSang Mountain, the quiet wild countryside, it was the season where grass grew long and orioles flew.

The small Ho family shop located a day's journey from Xiao Chi Town, like in the past, stood solitary beside the ancient path, welcomed and sent various travellers who passed by. The owner of the shop, shopkeeper Ho, would not have remember how many guests he had welcomed or sent off, and there would of course be all sorts of travellers passing by. But in the last three days, he could slowly affirm, that although he was gradually getting older but most probably he would remember this customer.

To say one customer would also be inaccurate, truthfully, it should be a customer carrying a strange monkey. And to shopkeeper Ho, what left a deeper impression in him was, that peculiar-looking monkey with three eyes.

Three days ago, while standing outside his shop beside the ancient path and soliciting customers, shopkeeper Ho saw this dusty-looking fatigued and with a blank expression man walking over from the ancient path, on his shoulder a three-eyed monkey, for some reason, he felt this person to be very familiar. When he went up to greet him and intended to convince this customer with his extravagant persuasion, unexpectedly he only said a sentence,

"Customer, we have hot tea and marvellous wine, why not come in and rest..."

Before he could finish, that wan and sallow man suddenly disappeared from his eyes, the next moment, when shopkeeper Ho recovered his senses, that man was already sitting among the wooden tables in his shop. And on the table, a silver ingot which could provide three days of endless food and drinks in this small shop.

Shopkeeper Ho was naturally delighted, hurriedly went to deliver food and wine. However what he did not expected was, this customer and monkey, really stayed on in his shop for three days and nights and until today, showed no intention of leaving.

And that man's mood, was obviously not good, in those three days, shopkeeper Ho did not see him uttering a word or smiling once. Every time he delivered the wine and food, that man only silently stared at the flask and then slowly drank.

However this customer's alcohol tolerance was extremely bad, each time he drank a little, shopkeeper Ho estimated not to be even half a flask, he would slump over the table, unconscious. And contrary to the owner, that three-eyed monkey, instead shocked shopkeeper Ho speechless.

Truthfully, shopkeeper Ho with his shop here, although the location was remote but because the number of travellers passing through here was rather high, he was also someone experienced and knowledgable. But in these three days, he had already swore several times in his heart, that in his lifetime, this was the only monkey he had seen that could drink the most and had the biggest alcohol tolerance.

In just a day, all of the marvellous wines stored in shopkeeper Ho's shop, including the jar of strong Nu Er Hong wine hidden under that old locust tree behind his shop, were all drank finished by this monkey.

However this monkey, evidently looked unsatisfied, it grabbed its ear and scratched its cheeks, peered here and there, after jumping around for a long time, ran to shopkeeper Ho screeching [zhi zhi] non-stopped. Although shopkeeper Ho did not understand the monkey language but even a fool could tell what the monkey was trying to say, initially he did not want to bother but unexpectedly this monkey was so clever that like a ghost, it secretly stole the silver that shopkeeper Ho kept away and showed it off in front of shopkeeper Ho.

Shopkeeper Ho was helpless and besides, they had indeed paid enough silvers, he could only send his assistant to hurry through the night and get wine from Xiao Chi Town. In the beginning he was still quite annoyed but over time, he became quite fond of the monkey. And other than its love of wine, the monkey did not have other abominable qualities, instead it often played and laughed in his shop, when it was in a good mood, it would also make funny acts like making fire appear out of thin air from its hands, not only shopkeeper Ho was astounded, the other merchants who were passing by were also entertained and stayed longer in shopkeeper Ho's shop, increasing his revenue.

And this grey three-eyed monkey's owner, contrasted from this lively monkey, most of the time he was slumped over asleep with a heavy smell of alcohol, in-between he woke up once and only looked around with his lifeless eyes, occasionally the monkey ran back to him and his eyes would lit up a little and then he would lazily caressed the monkey's head, after which he would seemed to again recall some sorrowful matters, took the wine flask and drank again, in a short while, he would again be in a drunken slumber.

Sometimes shopkeeper Ho secretly thought, the man most likely was not just a madman. Even though he was just an ordinary shopkeeper but he could still sense that this man was different from the normal travellers. Not to mention others, just the fact that during the three days when this man stayed in the small shop, during the nights where the mosquitoes were most active in this season, suddenly all disappeared; and there were also others, in the past during the late nights, ghostly wails that frequently reverberated in the wild countryside, as if they were being scared away by something, also all disappeared. As for shopkeeper Ho who was used to those wailings, now that the nights out of the sudden turned so peaceful, he had difficulty sleeping.

On this day evening, shopkeeper Ho stood behind the counter, closed the account book which he had just finished tabulating, let out a long breath. Then, he looked to his own shop.

There was still faint remnant of sunlight from the sun setting in the west outside the windows, while at the same time illuminating the red sunset in the horizon, it spilled in through the shop's windows, casting long shadows of the tables and chairs onto the floor, as if time had also quietly passed by here.

Shopkeeper Ho's mood suddenly turned odd, a thought went through his heart, to think of it, he was only just over fifty years of age. Although his assistants had always said that he looked to be only about forty but he himself knew that, his body was beginning to weaken.

Time spared no man, was he going to spend his entire life like that?

He gazed dazedly at those lengthening shadows on the floor, when he lifted his head up, he saw again the mottled off marks on the four walls of the small shop.

The silent sunlight remnant, shone onto his face, revealed some inexplicable life vicissitudes.

He sighed, shook his head, some things were better off not thinking about it. Shopkeeper Ho made a wry laugh, took the account book and walked towards the only customer in his shop and his monkey.

That customer was always sitting at the innermost table and as usual, slumped over the table drunk. And his monkey was crouching sideways on the table, its left hand holding the wine flask, its right hand grabbing food from the plates, a mouthful of wine, a mouthful of food, life was good.

Shopkeeper Ho walked over to that customer, made a slight cough and cleared his throat but his eyes could not help but glance to the monkey first, the monkey seemed unconcerned with his arrival, only glanced once at him and then returned its attention to the wine and food in its hands. Shopkeeper Ho let out a breath, this monkey was the most oenophile animal he had ever seen in his lifetime and on its back, it was still carrying a big wine bag, although the bag had already shriveled up but one could guess what was previously in it.

Shopkeeper Ho turned away, for some reason, he felt nervous, even he himself also could not explained it, he coughed a few times again and then carefully said, "This...customer."

The man in front of him did not move.

Shopkeep Ho felt somehow awkward but still continued, "Erm, customer, it's like this, three days ago the silver ingot that you paid, has been all used up, our shop earns only a small profit, is it..."

That man, not knowing if he was really drunk, lay there and still did not move.

Shopkeeper Ho sighed, stammered, "Actually, customer, the silver ingot that you paid was really quite a lot, not to say having meals in our small shop for three days, even up to five days would also be enough. Just that...just that your noble animal is already amazing, its alcohol limit is really too high, just three days and not to mention finishing all of our shop's wines, it also drunk all of the four vat of wines dispatched over in two trips..."

When shopkeeper Ho spoke until here, he glanced again at the monkey, the monkey stared at him and made a funny face.

Shopkeeper Ho spoke meekly, "Can you please pay a few more silvers, erm, right, that silver ingot you paid three days ago, was also stole back by your noble animal and still not returned, I..."

Before he could finish, [ding] a sound was heard, an ingot of silver jumped a few times onto the table, before shopkeeper Ho. Shopkeeper Ho fixed his eyes on it, the monkey had took out the stolen silver from somewhere and threw it on the table.

Shopkeeper Ho hurriedly picked it up and kept it in his bosom but he hesitated for a moment, glanced at that monkey and again took out the silver, opened his clothes and placed it into the inner layers of his clothes.

Just when he was keeping the silver well and intended to speak to the man again, a voice was suddenly heard,

"Is there anyone?"

Shopkeeper Ho was stunned, turned back, three people stood at the entrance, two men and a lady, the first was an elderly, holding a bamboo pole in his hands, a white cloth hung on it with words, 'Immortal Guide' four words; beside him, a seventeen, eighteen years old young girl, her face pretty and wearing a smile.

These two young and old, the old had a immortal taoist demeanour while the young was beautiful and graceful, and behind the two of them, stood a middle-aged man, carrying all of the luggages but he looked unusual, a head higher than the other two, his face looked like wild dog, a detestable look.

Shopkeeper Ho quickly went up to receive them, after all the customer with his monkey would not secretly escape, he better served the new customers first. He received them with a smile, "Yes, yes, three customers, would you be having your meals or staying?"

That old man [he he] smiled, his eyes smiling too, said, "Why, shopkeeper Ho, don't you recognized us?"

Shopkeeper Ho was surprised, carefully looked at that old man and no matter how, he could not recall. He had been doing business beside the ancient path and the number of customers were a lot, how could he remember all of them, he could only awkwardly shook his head and said, "Sorry customer, humble me is old, my memory is failing me."

That old man's face had a compassionate look, shook his head sighed and said, "Ai, pity, pity, all of the mortal humans most likely is this way, with immortal fate in front of you, yet with no intelligent eyes to know."

Shopkeeper Ho was surprised, immediately felt some awe and carefully looked at this old man, saw that strands of his white hair lifted in the wind, looking like a sage, most likely was a cultivated Taoist master. Although he did not understand why a Taoist master would looked like a jianghu (itinerant) fortune teller and that young lady beside the old man had a disapproving look but he thought since he was a master then naturally he himself as a commoner would not be able to understand, if he could understand then wouldn't he also become a master?

As he thought about it, shopkeeper Ho's face revealed some reverence, respectfully he said, "Yes, yes, this, master please come in."

The old man acknowledged, holding the bamboo pole and swaggered in, the young lady behind him gave a wry laugh and shook her head, turning she spoke to that man with the luggages behind her,

"Wild Dog Taoist, let's go in too and take a rest."

That man acknowledged and also followed in, three of them sat at a table, the dog-faced man placed the bags on him at a chair beside him, [pong] a sound, seemed like the bags were not that light.

The three of them, naturally they were Zhou YiXian and Xiao Huan, as for that dog-faced man, it would be that only surviving member of Blood Forger Hall, Wild Dog Taoist. Ever since from the death marsh, Wild Dog Taoist had been following Zhuo YiXian and Xiao Huan to roam the world, with four seas as their home.

In the beginning, Zhou YiXian really disliked Wild Dog and every other day he would pick on him, at times mocking him but Wild Dog Taoist for some reasons, seemed a totally changed man, like turning over a new leaf to Buddha, turned a deaf ear to it and continued to follow them and Xiao Huan, with her kind heart, defended him whenever she could not tolerate it.

Although she was young but her words were sharp, Zhou YiXian even though he was a seasoned vagrant but often he was rebuked until he was speechless, finally he could only accept the fact. Luckily as time passed, he gradually discovered that Wild Dog was not all good-for-nothing, like the heavy bags that he used to carry, he could all give it to this 'labourer' and the 'labourer' in Xiao Huan's grateful eyes, did not protest at all and instead looked happy.

As for his other useful abilities, examples like encountering wild beasts during their journeys in the wild countrysides, ghosts when they were travelling, bandits when they traversed mountains etc, naturally they dispatched this Wild Dog 'big hero' to handle it all, along the way, Zhou YiXian only felt very at ease, he had roamed for all of his life and he had never felt so comfortable like in the past few months, his only regret was not meeting this Wild Dog earlier.

During this time, the the three of them again visited the old places, since they were wandering, they could go to any places, as they travelled, once again they came back to this ancient path. And Zhou YiXian like a witty spirit, could still remember shopkeeper Ho who had a shop beside the road, pretended to be a master and awed the shopkeeper Ho.

When he saw that shopkeeper Ho turned respectful towards him, Zhou YiXian was delighted, made a show of ordering a few dishes and after shopkeeper Ho left to prepare, he turned his head over to brag to Xiao Huan and Zhou YiXian when he saw something strange with their faces, an inconceivable look on their faces, staring ahead.

Zhou YiXian was perplexed, said, "Hey, what's wrong with you all?"

Wild Dog Taoist raised his arm which had somehow turned woody, pointed at a location deep inside the small shop, "Take a look yourself."

Zhou YiXian glared at him, turned and looked, suddenly his body shook too.

In the remnant evening sunlight, the last ray landed down from the window, in the dim corner of the shop, a man's figure slumped and on the table, in the shadows, a three-eyed monkey was staring at them.

Xiao Huan was stunned, quietly called out, "Xiao Hui?"